Letter: Will Islam Collapse in Our Lifetime?
26 Dec, 2007
Dr. DM, an Indian Infidel sent the following letter to Islam-watch. It is published with editor's response:
Dear Mr Khan,
Hope you are well and things are fine. I sent the following question for any knowledgeable person.
A knowledgeable person, Dr. Ali Sina, from faithfreedom.org has predicted the decline and fall of Islam during our lifetime or say, in this century. On what basis you predict this.
Now since I asked this question, I would like to give my background so that you will understand my mindset. My name is DM. I did my Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry at the University of Georgia in USA and currently work as a researcher. I did my Masters from India. I am from Calcutta (now called Kolkata) India. My parents moved from Bangladesh (East Pakistan) to India for obvious reasons. My grandfather was killed in 1971 by Urdu speaking Muslims backed by Pakistan. The reason, he was a Hindu person. I am not a religious person. I visited temples, mosques, churches, synagogues, gurdwaras, Buddhist temple etc.
Now I would like to give the background of my question. I have experienced that in all Islamic countries there is no practice of free thinking. Muslims (practising and non-practising) in Islamic countries are insulated from the truth, and their media and their political system don’t allow them to think freely and analyze logically. Most of the times, they think everything from the religious point of view. They give an Islamic twist in their opinion. That’s the way they are groomed. Even the newspapers published in the west by the Muslims living in the west show the same mentality.
Muslims live in the west, take the advantage of west’s liberal democracy and then criticize USA and the west. For example, I was reading an article published in the weekly news magazine, The Weekly Bangla Patrika, Friday, June 08, 2007. The editor: Mahbubur Rahman, published by Bangla Patrika Inc., 34-30, 72nd Street, Jackson Heights, NY 11372. In one article (pp5, by Minar Rashid), it is written that Islamic countries own the 70% of oil and 40% of minerals of the world. America and the west are exploiting, and oppressing the Islamic countries in various ways. The projection of Shia-Sunni divide is a hype created by west, so that Muslims will keep fighting with each other. The population of west is declining. America does not want1.2 billion Muslims to become powerful. 1.2 billion people can be a threat to the west etc. Rather America should truly love the people of Islamic countries.
So you see the mindset of the people from Islamic countries. The Muslims (practicing and non-practising) read these newspapers. So whether the Muslims are in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia or America does not really matter. The mindset remains the same.
Interestingly in the same issue of The Weekly Bangla Patrika, Friday, June 08, 2007 (pp59), one Islamic sect Ahle Sunnat Wale Jamat (of Bangladesh) gave an advertisement that they follow the real Islam. They quoted Mishkat Sharif (pp30) where Prophet Muhammad said that his Umma will get divided into 73 sects, and only one sect will go to heaven and others will go to hell. This sect Ahle Sunnat Wale Jamat wanted to tell that they are following the true path and Muslim people should join them.
Now if this is the situation where in all Islamic countries most of the people are illiterate, brainwashed by the media, don’t have newspapers which promote free thinking, people don’t do any self-criticism then how the Islam will decline during our lifetime.
Then how the
decline of Islam is possible?
Note: I read Ibn Warraq’s books.
I also watched the videos of ‘Unlearning Intolerance’ Seminar at the United Nations held on 7 December 2004, United Nations Headquarters, New York. I read the articles of Islam-watch.org, faithfreedom.org, secularIslam.org, http://www.futureofMuslimworld.com/
Dear Dr. DM,
Although this question was more appropriate for Dr Ali Sina to answer, let me put my perspectives in case Dr Sina, being a busy person, fails to reply.
I personally have not predicted that Islam will implode within our life-time or within the current century. Instead, I feel that Islam still has the chance to overwhelm the world within half a century. It may well become an overpowering force in parts of the world where Muslims are currently a relatively weak force, such as in India, Russia and all of Africa. At the same time, there is a possibility that there will be a beginning of the decline of Islam in the coming decades.
It all depends on how the non-Islamic world, the West in particular, responds to current resurgence of Islam. As I see it, the political response of the Western world has not been very encouraging. The same is true for Russia and India.
The only way to do the undoing of Islam is to expose it for what it truly is and what it has been ever since its birth. As long as the leaders of the non-Islamic world are unwilling to take a stand and speak up freely and frankly about the problem of Islam, it will continue to grow in strength and spread its influence. In a couple of decades, the world needs to tackle Islam’s resurgence to save modern civilization with limited damage. I frankly see little hope that it will happen. Non-Muslim leaders of the world are not going to handle Islam in the way it is needed. They might step in at some point, but it may be too late by then.
I have however some hope in the power of general people of the infidel world. There are promising signs that the general populace are waking up to the danger of Islam. There is a significant rise in awareness about Islam among the people in Europe, USA and Australia etc. They are reading up about Islam and its history, and realizing what is it up to. Here, I personally believe that websites like Islam-watch.org, faithfreedom.org, jihad-watch.org, frontpagemag.com, and authors like Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Ibn Warraq, Robert Spencer, Mark Steyn, Martin Amis, Wafa Sultan, Nonie Darwish and many others have played valuable role in creating this awareness.
But educating them is a difficult task. Most of them have this innocent but naïve view that all religions are the same. There are few bad apples in every lot. Religion is not the problem, but those few bad apples are. However, people are changing mind about Islam. The issue is: how fast? They need to rise up and voice their opposition against Islam and force their politicians to take measures for protecting their civilization.
I am personally optimistic about this people’s power. I believe that they will wake up from their slumber in time to protect their civilization. As Muslims in the West would come under pressure, they will leave Islam in large number, modernize or pack up to go home.
However, I am not so optimistic that Islam will collapse in the Islamic countries in our lifetime, probably not in a century. It has after all survived 14 centuries despite many hurdles along the way. Education would not help either. Education makes Muslims more fanatic. You have already given some example of how educated Muslims come to the West and still stick to their original mindset. In fact, Muslims not only stick to their mindset after relocation to the West, but they often become more fanatic or bigoted. You will see many Muslims, who hardly prayed or wore Hijab while in their home country, suddenly become very pious and start wearing head-covering after arriving in the West. This article in our website gives a good overview of how Muslims transform after coming to the West.
Pressure and free criticism are probably the only way to modernize or dismantle Islam. And this pressure and criticism can come only from outside as there is little likelihood that free expression and thought will ever be able to evolve from within Islam. It will more likely come from Western countries. Countries like India, China and Russia could do their part but I do not see any hope in them. They are busy in appeasing and empowering the Islamists for their narrow self-interests, which may come back to bite them real hard.
In sum, I believe that because of increasing pressure and criticisms; Islam will first modernize or be dismantled in the West. If that happens, the wind will slowly but definitely blow into the Islamic world. But it will be a painfully slow process.
The pace of it may also be influenced by political transformations in countries where Islam poses a threat. Because of the lack of appropriate initiatives for countering Islamic resurgence by current left-leaning and Islam-appeasing secular governments, hardline fringe political parties may come to the fore in many countries. For example, the hardline BJP may become an indomitable force in India within the coming decade. Similar change in political landscape is likely in many European countries as well. The next few decades are going to be very much eventful, particularly concerning Islam. Whether Islam will triumph or collapse – we have to wait and see.